The Use of Bibliotherapy as a Therapeutic Intervention by Mental Health Professionals

Bibliotherapy is a program of activity based on the interactive processes of media and the people who experience it. Print or non print material, either imaginative or informational, is experienced and discussed with the aid of a facilitator (Rubin, 1978, p.2). This study employed a qualitative approach to explore the use of bibliotherapy as a therapeutic intervention by mental health professionals. Detailed semi-structured interviews were conducted with thirteen psychologists based in Mumbai, India.Thematic analysis of data revealed several codes which were then grouped to form primary, secondary and finally tertiary themes: how bibliotherapy fosters growth, acts as a support system, is a knowledge repository and dynamics of bibliotherapy. Themes were viewed in light of participant responses and research in the field to address three research questions: What is the role of fiction and non-fiction reading material in professional therapy currently offered in counselling and therapeutic settings? What are the diverse techniques and mechanics of bibliotherapy practiced by mental health professionals? What are some of the therapeutic processes involved in bibliotherapy according to the mental health professionals who use it as a tool?

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